Serious Games, Science Communication, and One Utopian Vision

In Innovation, Technology on June 9, 2010 at 12:52 pm

"enercities" by centralasian on flickr


Read my complete post on The Scholarly Kitchen. Excerpt:  

Even for mainstream students, gaming is a ubiquitous, informal learning vehicle. From a January piece in the New York Times, “If Your Kids Are Awake, They’re Probably Online,” the average time per day spent by people ages 8-18 gaming is one hour and thirteen minutes compared to 38 minutes per day spent using print.  

Dr. Michael Rich, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Boston who directs the Center on Media and Child Health, said that with media use so ubiquitous, it was time to stop arguing over whether it was good or bad and accept it as part of children’s environment, “like the air they breathe, the water they drink and the food they eat”.  

Over the course of the next 15 years, this community of users who experience content versus strictly reading it will comprise the community of scientists, researchers, and society members who are our customers. It may be difficult for traditionalists to make the conceptual leap from journal or book publishing to scientific simulations and instructional gaming. However, as economics and culture align, these will become part of the fabric of the industry.  

Not everyone will thrive in a transformed business landscape. For centuries, scientific publishers have been scribes and disseminators of content who have translated the activity of science into a linear, replicable, two-dimensional experience. Sometimes even the most accomplished companies can’t transition outside their core specialties. (Apple, for example, is an exemplary device manufacturer and marketing company that has been comparatively ineffective in the software space. Microsoft, conversely, has excelled in software but failed to make headway in devices.)  

Is it better, then, for publishers to focus on the curation and filtering of content, leaving user services development to others? Or should they be cultivating new skills that prepare them for a different future?  

Read more.


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